theunderstatement by MICHAEL DEGUSTA

As is now well known, Mike Daisey’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” has been performed since 2010 and covered by countless media outlets since, including This American Life which then retracted the story on the basis of reporting by Marketplace's Rob Schmitz. Contrary to some coverage of the retraction, Daisey’s fabrications actually extended far beyond whether he personally witnessed specific incidents, as Daring Fireball's John Gruber explains.

I could find four venues that had previously scheduled Mike Daisey to perform “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in the coming months.

  • All four are proceeding with all performances as planned.
  • All four have now made public statements essentially in defense of Daisey.
  • Three of the four have gone so far as to assert that the facts in Daisey’s show are true.
  • Only one has updated their show page to make any mention of the retraction.

Here are quotes from each of the venues:

Flynn Center - Burlngton, VT: 1 performance, 3/31
“The fascinating part of it is that both Ira Glass and reporters from Marketplace are saying the facts are correct.”
– Executive Director John Killacky, on Reluctant Habits.

HighTide Festival - Suffolk, UK: 2 performances, 5/5 - 5/6
“The facts themselves that he reports on, which news outlets and Apple’s own investigations have proven to be true.”
“I believe that Mike did not intend to mislead the public.”
– Artistic Director Steven Atkinson, on HighTide’s website.

Spoleto Festival - Charleston, SC: 4 performances, 5/31 - 6/5
“All we ask is that audiences wait until they see the piece before making up their minds.”
– Spoleto Festival on Facebook.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Washington, DC: 20 performances, 7/18 - 8/5
“All of the specific conditions he includes in his show have been corroborated by The New York Times and others.”
“We believe in the essential truth of Mike’s storytelling”
– Artistic Director Howard Shalwitz and Managing Director Jeff Herrmann
on Woolly Mammoth’s Blog.

Finally, in what appears to be pure serendipity, there is one other monologue scheduled ahead of Daisey’s at the Spoleto Festival: “Making Up The Truth”, by a This American Life contributor no less.

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    A Million Little Pieces/Oprah....parties benefited from
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    This is the most absurd thing I have seen in quite some time. The guy lies and yet the people putting his show on are...
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